So I’ve been in Florida for fifteen years. During that time I’ve covered countless crazy stories. Things that I never dreamed I would write about when reporting and living in staid, tame New England.
Everyone always asks me: is Florida crazy or what?
Well…it’s not that simple. The truth is, Florida has a strong tradition of open public records. Because of this, lots more information is available to reporters – and the public – in Florida than in many other states.
What this means: Florida’s a great place to be a journalist. If a reporter can’t find a story here, they should think about finding a different career.
Here’s my offering from today:
It was a Florida prison inmate’s escape that led investigators down a rabbit hole of sin involving a corrections officer and two strippers the sheriff says brokered deals for malt liquor, cigarettes and “conjugal visits in the woods.”
It all unfolded in September, when inmate Jason Adams escaped from a work crew in suburban Pasco County, about 30 miles north of downtown Tampa. The corrections officer overseeing the crew, Henry Blackwelder, didn’t tell his superiors of the escape until three hours later. When investigators arrived, they found empty cans of Straw-Ber-Rita and Four Loko malt liquor, empty packets of synthetic marijuana known as “spice,” and a blanket in the woods used for hook-ups.